The gaudy new door has now weathered to a more respectable colour!
Monday, 30 December 2019
The gaudy new door has now weathered to a more respectable colour!
Sunday, 3 March 2019
|Note: as with all current postings, picture resolution is poor, but if you click on any picture you get a clearer image, and access to a slideshow at the foot of the screen|
Last week’s recce was in delightful weather. Today’s walk was on another grey day. I’m not surprised that some folk bottled – our destination was smothered in cloud when we set off after 10.30. A select group of the five pharmacists pictured above, and yours truly.
Knowing this was going to be a short walk, we could afford to start with a leisurely coffee in the Great House Barn’s café. Sue even managed to squeeze in a parkrun before the walk, whilst I had a tooth filled.
We started off along one of the many tree lined avenues in Lever Park, named after William Lever, Lord Leverhulme, who bought the estate in 1899. After this level stretch through chatty woodland to warm up, a pretty path leads up above Knowle House.
A short descent is then required to cross a narrow valley full of moss covered rocks.
A good path then leads up to Ormstons Farm and onwards towards Pike Cottage. We took a short break, with good views to our objective, Rivington Pike, and beyond the local reservoirs to the Lancashire coast. Thankfully, by now the mist had cleared and the sun was trying to emerge, despite a forecast of rain.
After a while, we arrived at the high point of the walk, Rivington Pike Tower, 363 metres above sea level, a hunting lodge built in 1733. Here, Shak, with his customary panache, obliged a large group of jolly ramblers with photos from each of their ‘phones.
Our own group photo was rather easier, and the picture(s) can be shared via Dropbox.
Did you know that the hunting lodge, the entrance to which is now blocked up, has a spacious cellar?
Our team, Shak in particular, found the ensuing descent rather easier than the ascent. Perhaps because we had refuelled with tea, cake and bananas, plus some excellent spicy seaweed from a Korean supermarket. Thanks Katrina.
The path soon levels out as it joins the track that by-passes the tower and continues to the spooky looking Pigeon Tower. Built in 1910, and with Lady Leverhulme's sewing room on the top floor, it was renovated in 1974 and re-roofed in 2005. It now seems to be implicated in some further restoration work, as are the terraced gardens below it.
Here’s a bit more information:
The Pigeon Tower was built in gritstone with four storeys, each a single room. It has a steeply pitched roof and a corbelled chimney. On the west side is a semi-circular stair turret with a conical roof. The fourth storey, Lady Lever’s sewing room, has four light mullioned windows on two sides. The second and third storeys are a dovecote. On the west wall are square pigeon holes with perching ledges.
Beyond the Pigeon Tower, a steep, rocky track, deeply eroded into the hillside, leads to a car park, beyond which easy paths lead to Rivington Hall Barn, which was renovated by Lord Leverhulme in the early 1900s, but which may originally date from up to 1000 years earlier, albeit the current structure dates (merely!) from the 16th century.
Rivington Hall Barn is devoted to private events (today’s was a wedding) on Saturdays, but it has a thriving cafe full of bikers and hikers on Sundays.
Raindrops towards the end of our walk deterred us from continuing for an afternoon amble. Instead, we enjoyed a lengthy lunch at the Great House Barn, which provides café facilities every day of the week. The last three pictures from the walk were taken in light rain.
This barn is dated 1702, probably from a restoration or rebuilding. It was restored, altered, and enlarged in 1905. It has an exposed oak cruck frame, clad in squared sandstone and stone slate roof. A Tudor-style timber-framed porch and mullion windows are 20th-century additions. It’s an excellent café.
Here’s our route – 7.2 km with about 220 metres ascent, taking us about two and a quarter hours. A delightful stroll, and thanks to everyone for coming along.
I believe that Shakeel is minded to arrange another similar event.
Sunday, 24 February 2019
|Click on the pictures for better resolution, and slideshow at bottom of the screen|
Park in the car park here, near ‘Go Ape’, or turn right and park on the left up the lane that leads to Rivington Hall Barn
We then descend back to the Great House Barn, via the Pigeon Tower in which Lady Leverhulme had her sewing room.
Here’s the planned route – 7.5 km (about 5 miles), with less than 250 metres of ascent. It will take two to three hours.
We can enjoy a light lunch in the Great House Barn, or drive to a nearby pub.
After lunch I’ll be happy to continue by way of a further short walk that will take in 'The Castle', an incomplete scaled down replica of Liverpool Castle, intended as a ruin.
Here’s this second route – about 3.5 km (less than 2 miles) along flat paths. This will take rather less than an hour.
Returning to the Barn, we may be ready for more coffee, cakes or ice cream, or even all three.
Otherwise, I look forward to seeing everyone in the café next Saturday morning.
Tuesday, 3 April 2018
JJ and I braved the elements to drive to the outskirts of Bolton, a test for JJ’s winter tyres, and join 16 others on an East Lancs LDWA walk advertised by Norman as ‘A Little Ray of Sunshine’.
Rain in Timperley turned to snow as we approached the environs of Winter Hill, and by the time we arrived at the 9 o’clock start the planned walk over snow clad Winter Hill had been abandoned in favour of an easier circuit to White Coppice and back. Wimps!
Actually, given that Norman is nigh on 80 and there were other elderly participants, the decision may well have saved the local mountain rescue folks a call out as the planned descent route from Winter Hill is notoriously steep and slippery.
So we took a gentle route past Ormston’s Farm.
A suitable spot for a group photo was found. Despite dire warnings regarding the weather, it was only slightly inclement, the worst of the rain coming after we had set off back home.
It was however rather damp underfoot. Some of those wearing trail shoes got rather cold and wet feet.
Small waterfalls were encountered.
Whilst the Camellia in our Cheshire garden is in full bloom, spring seems some way off in Lancashire.
A random point above Anglezarke Reservoir was chosen for a five minute elevenses break. Well done Norman – it was spot on 11 0’clock.
Suitably refreshed with coffee and cake, for some the pain of stream crossings became more like a jolly splodge.
The familiar environs of White Coppice were reached well before noon, after we’d passed the aqueduct draining water from Anglezarke Moor.
Despite Norman’s earlier promise, the café was shut, so we made do with lunch on some benches under the cricket pavilion.
In a week or two folk in deck chairs under a hot sun will be watching athletes all clad in white testing the sound of leather on willow just here.
Nearby, after we’d departed from our lunch break, we noticed that a few daffodils have sprouted next to a small reservoir.
LDWA walks are judged by their length. Summits rarely feature. So it was something of a surprise to arrive at a summit – Healey Nab, an outlier of Winter Hill – 208 metres tall. Wow!
The walk progressed in fine weather past Anglezarke Reservoir then alongside Upper Rivington Reservoir.
I thought they were speeding towards one of the cafés in Rivington, but it was not to be – Norman carefully avoided the fleshpots, in favour of a visit to the remains of 'The Castle', an incomplete scaled down replica of Liverpool Castle, intended as a ruin. Another five minute break was declared, but most of us were bereft of provisions and only sustained by Hilary’s generous hand out of a variety of sweets.
The congregation was enthralled by Norman’s stories of his youthful exploits on escapades like crossing the weir at Whalley and the stepping stones at Jumbles. Happy Days!
All good things come to an end, and after more pleasant paths on the edge of Horwich’s housing estates we reached our outward route for the last few minutes back to the start of the walk, and a drive home in driving rain. Thanks to JJ for the lift.
Here’s our route – about 25 km with 500 metres of ascent, taking us six and a quarter hours including breaks.
Thanks to Norman for leading this walk in excellent company. It was good to be back with the LDWA crowd after a long break. Hope to see you again soon…
Friday, 25 March 2016
“Fancy joining Greg and me for a bike ride on Wednesday?” asked Paul at last Saturday’s parkrun.
So Greg decided on a route and Paul picked us both up before heading off to Rivington Great House Barn for a leisurely morning ride.
We set off beside Lower Rivington Reservoir, soon reaching one of Lord Leverhulme’s follies, a scaled down ruin of Liverpool Castle.
The day was dull and cloudy. Much brighter pictures of this area appear elsewhere in these pages. But today’s route wasn’t one that’s on my normal itinerary. We ascended the ‘middle’ track through the Terraced Gardens. I’m usually to be found on the upper or the lower track, and I can’t remember when I was last at this ornate bridge. The track over the bridge to the right leads to a small temple. Rivington Tower and the Pigeon Tower can be seen above at certain points.
A fast descent, then a slow ascent and another fast descent brought us out at the northern end of Anglezarke Reservoir, rather monochromatic today.
As we slewed to a lunchtime halt by a bridge over the River Yarrow near Hallsworth Fold Farm, Paul noticed a hissing sound emanating from his front tyre. So Greg and I enjoyed our lunches whilst Paul replaced his inner tube.
After a brief spell on the western side of the M61 motorway, we returned to cross the bridge between the Anglezarke and the Rivington Reservoirs before heading beside Yarrow Reservoir to then swoop down to finish this pleasant ride alongside the Rivington Reservoirs. A Go-Ape course heralded the end of this brief excursion, which concluded with tea/coffee and tea cakes in the café at the barn.
Here’s the route – about 18 km, with 400 metres of relatively gentle ascent (no pushing needed) that took us a little over two and a half hours.
Thanks for the invite, Paul, I enjoyed that ride.